Do we need an antivirus on OS X?

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by digitalove, Nov 17, 2014.

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  1. digitalove macrumors regular

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    Jun 12, 2012
    #1
    I just bought a MacBook and didn't use OS X for some time now.

    I'm not sure if I should use an antivirus and which one.

    The best weapon to stay away from virus is common sense in my opinion.
    But still sometimes I'm pretty paranoid: like some days ago I went to some movie streaming site and I got so many pop-ups, and also a download started automatically (a dmg that I obviously didn't open). One of the pop-up was Mac Keeper that appears to be a site that want you to download his antivirus or some **** like this.

    What do you suggest? Any tips you can share on how I should stay safe or how attacks happens on OS X?
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #2
    Nope, not needed
    Just practice safe computing and pay attention when asked to use your admin password
     
  3. digitalove thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    That's what I think as well, I started to think that I would need it only because of others people opinion but still even on Windows it's not needed if you know how to use your PC imo
     
  4. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Unless you make it a regular habit to look at naughty stuff (porn), nope.
     
  5. joedec macrumors 6502

    joedec

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    #5
    Get a copy of ClamXav from the Apple App Store, its free, well written.

    I have never run anything in background like with Windows, that's overkill for the Mac, but sometimes its nice to have something just in case you suspect a file.
     
  6. Sirious macrumors 65816

    Sirious

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    #6
    Always installed it on Windows. Haven't thought about it on Mac. Probably don't need it - thankfully.
     
  7. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

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    #7
    Not needed.

    At all.

    (Thought I'd be the one to be unambiguous with no mixed messages)
     
  8. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #8
    1) Get adblock plus

    2) Make sure Safari is set up not to open files automatically after download

    3) Make sure Gatekeeper is set to it's default setting, and do no install any updates that are not from the MAS or direct from the developer's website
     
  9. digitalove thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Thanks for your answers. I didn't know about Adblock for Safari :p
     
  10. campyguy macrumors 68040

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    #10
    Don't use an administrator account for normal use or surfing the web. Read elsewhere in these forums for "adware" or "malware" problems. Others will tell you working from an admin account isn't any big deal - don't listen to them.
     
  11. Cisco_Kid macrumors 6502

    Cisco_Kid

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    #11
    The health research company I work for deploys ESET Business Edition on all their Mac's, I work with many Windows clients, and frequently it catches things through email messages, yes I know the issues are Windows centric, however I believe it is better to have protection rather than sticking your head in the sand pretending nothing will ever happen to you...

    The systems run smoothy, I've not encountered speed related issues so far.
     
  12. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #12
    Come on dude, that's what iPads were made for :rolleyes:
     
  13. Abba1 macrumors regular

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    Aug 6, 2014
    #13
    Mac Trojans & Viri

    Although Mac is far safer than PC/Microsoft os, it has been vulnerable to Trojans for some time now, and it is becoming vulnerable to Viri. WireLurker and ShellShock (the latter of which Apple patched) are two of the latest examples of malware. Ventir is another. There is yet another that has been developed by a good guy, who warned Apple of his creation so that they can develop a fix before it goes into the wild.

    It used to be that good computer hygiene kept your Mac safe. The dangers now are quite great and you should not count on just being careful. Do protect yourself.
     
  14. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #14
    The examples you cited, are from people installing apps from places of a dubious nature, that is generally contrary to the default Mac setup.

    Even the best OS cannot prevent user error (read: stupidity).
     
  15. m4v3r1ck, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014

    m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

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    #15
    ESET Cyber Security Pro (MAC)

    It includes a great in-outbound traffic control! I like it very much.

    MacUpdate

    ESET Website
     
  16. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #16
    I don't believe in the need for anti-virus for OS X, however as a security measure I do use CalmXav (Free, from the App Store) and scan my hard disk once in a blue moon. It did find a Windows virus that was attached to a cached email at one point, but I just deleted the email and went on with my life. The nice part about OS X is UNIX, and the only way to infect it really (unless things have changed) is to download a tainted app. Just be safe on the internet, don't install packages from unidentified devs, and you'll be fine.

    Being a Mac user/self-autherized Apple Repair Tech for the last 5 years, the only "virus" I have ever seen on a Mac was the FBI Virus on a family members MacBook Air, which really just put Safari into crash mode where it can't be quit and asks you to pay. Force Quitting (Command + Option + Esc) Safari gets rid of it.
     
  17. Junosbetterhalf macrumors member

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    #17
    Why is it a big deal?
     
  18. Abba1, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014

    Abba1 macrumors regular

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    #18
    That used to be true, but unfortunately it is no longer so. Gatekeeper is great, but the filth that create trojans and viri are getting better and better at what they do. As far as not preventing "user error (read: stupidity)", even the best and brightest can open an email s(he) thinks is legitimate, and it is not: in fact, it can be downright dangerous. It is important to protect oneself whenever possible. You can't or shouldn't use an anti-virus when testing a beta, but there is no reason not to use it at other times. You should also install the Safari add-on already mentioned; and, two additional ones: Ghostery and "Web of Trust". WOT is even better than Google's Safe Browsing, which you should pay attention to, and it is a good supplement to it. Google's Safe Browsing is down regularly. Web of Trust is only rarely down. And WOT does let you know what websites are dangerous.
     
  19. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #19
    But it will still require you to download something (and then enter your admin password), click on a link to somewhere and give away your personal data.

    No-one has yet defeated the OS X permissions regime and had anything install itself without being granted admin permissions. Important to realise that no Mac OS X virus scanner can protect against anything that hasn't been invented yet, so not worth spending any money.

    If you practice safe computing, have a decent admin password, have ClamXAV and AdwareMedic available in case then you have little to worry about at this time IMHO.
     
  20. m4v3r1ck, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014

    m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

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    #20
    Using ClamXAV, AdwareMedic, Little Snitch and/or other apps, is the same as using a suite that features them all IMHO! Only difference is that for ESET you have to pay, that's indeed a fact.

    I have a deal for 3 computers - Mac or Windows - with all the above features in one suite! Easy to manage, updated automatically and scanning on the fly with very little CPU usage!

    1. Mac Pro OSX 10.9.5 / 10.10
    2. Mac Pro bootcamped Windows 8 Pro x64 / Windows 10.10 TP in VM using shared folders
    3. Asus Laptop Windows 7 Pro x32

    I like things the easy way, perhaps I'm just being lazy! ;)

    Cheers
     
  21. KALLT macrumors 601

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    Sep 23, 2008
    #21
    I concur. The purpose of malicious software can range from data destruction to data collection, all of which you should not want on your system. Even if OS X is immune to most, Windows users are not. You should protect your system not just to shield yourself, but also to protect others from your own host of dormant malware. Today's computers are incredibly powerful and can run antivirus software with a very negligible performance penalty. Remember: you don't just protect yourself against malware like Windows users do, but you also protect yourself against potential threats.
     
  22. smithrh macrumors 68020

    smithrh

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    Feb 28, 2009
    #22
    Virus protection != Trojan protection

    You do not need antivirus on the Mac.

    You do need to be vigilant on every single computing platform against trojans, as they aim at the human element in the equation.
     
  23. Abba1 macrumors regular

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    Aug 6, 2014
    #23
    Emails are a great source of Viri and Trojans. Some now start to download just by virtue of being opened. Things can gain access without being granted permissions. Additionally, there are very dangerous websites from which you need protection. Apple OS X is great in this regard, and certainly more so than other systems. But, even so, it is not fully protective.

    A good practice is to disable load remote images in Mail on all devices, but even that is not sufficient. And, beside adding to the protection an anti-virus affords, the good ones can clean an infected Mac.
     
  24. jeremyka macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    #24
    This is not strictly true - just google "local privilege escalation" for osx. That latest exploit is barely month old and has not been patched yet:

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/14...escalation-vulnerability-in-mac-os-x-yosemite
     
  25. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Auckland
    #25
    Read the article closely, it involves admin priveldges being escalated to root - the exploit has to be given admin permission first - by the user.

    ----------

    On OSX? That would be a world-wide first so please quote a specific example we should be aware of?

    Windows and OSX are fundamentally different in this regard so please dont extrapolate from Windows viruses and assume the same method is exposed under OSX. ALL known trojans, malware and adware on the OSX platform (inc the latest "Rootpipe" require admin permissions to install being granted by the user in some way.

    Unless you have an example?
     
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